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Lebanese Individual Championship 2017 – Qualification Stage

Tarek Moudallal – Solo

The LCF opened its 2017 season by organizing its qualification stage of the Individual championship. The Lebanese International University (LIU) hosted the event in an exemplary way: a spacious playing hall, excellent lighting and accommodation, not to mention the free cars parking and the available logistic equipment that put it at the disposition of the organizer.

Each of the 50+ players fought during 7 rounds in eagerness for one of the 4 qualified places available for the ultimate final stage. And I can assure you, dear reader, that there were furious fights on every board.

The tension reaches its peak in the 7th rounds, especially on the top four boards, where any misstep could lead its maker to his downfall, as a player can have a chance to be qualified using the 3rd or even the 4th tie-break criteria!

On the top board, the encounter between Razmig Oknayan and Tarek Moudallal was critical, especially for the former as he has the lowest tie-break, and he was in a must-win situation. A chaotic middle game arose, when Razmig tried to attack Tarek’s uncastled king. But the later defended well, coordinated his pieces, and his counter attack was unstoppable. The draw on the neighbored board between Marwan Nassar and Marwan Sharbel gave Tarek the prestige of winning solely the event with 6 points out of 7.

The crowded spectators felt the heat of the fight on boards 3 (Dr Kevork Terzian vs Hrair Brounsouzian) and especially 4 (Kassem Fawaz vs Ralph Khairallah). With an extra of 2 pawns, Hrair converted easily a won rook endgame into a full point, while after a mistake by Kassem in a complicated middle game enabled Ralph to net a knight. Although he was very short on time, Ralph didn’t release his gain, and in an interesting pure Rook+ 2 knights vs Rook, he succeeded in collecting the point.

The top final standing :

  1. Tarek Moudallal – 6 points

  2. Marwan Nassar – 5.5 – TB1: 22.5, TB2: 17.5, TB3: 2006

  3. Ralph Kahirallah: 5.5 – TB1:22.5, TB2: 17.5, TB3: 1619

  4. Marwan Sharbel: 5.5 – TB1: 22

  5. Hrair Brounsouzian: 5.5 – TB1: 19

  6. Nicolas Saliba: 5 – TB: 21.5

  7. Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani:5 – TB: 21

  8. Razmig Oknayan: 5 – TB: 19.5

  9. Gen.  Hassan Jouni: 5 – TB: 18

As you noticed, dear reader, any different result in the encounter between the 2 Marwans could give Hrair one of their places.

A vexing feeling is the least expression I can find to explain the exclusion from the top ranks of the experienced Dr. Mahmoud Maasarani, as a ring of a mobile can cost more than one point.

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